Saturday, February 7, 2009

Vacation: Day One

VacationToday is the first of five days of a short vacation. A very short vacation. Too short, I'm sure. I'll be taking the family to Walt Disney World in Florida on a real vacation in September, but desperately needed a break from the chaos of the daily grind -- a break that cannot wait until September. So, here I am.

I started this vacation break by falling asleep on the couch last night after several hours of reading (see WHAT I'M READING NOW in the sidebar for more). My son had decided he wanted to sleep in bed with us, which meant that he went up with my wife and crawled into my spot in the bed. I probably slept better on the couch than I would have with him kicking me in the head all night long.

This morning the kids woke me up and I served them up some breakfast while I sat at the table eating with them and getting caught up with the news on my PDA. Yes, I still (again) use a PDA -- this one a Garmin iQue 3600 PDA/GPS that I picked up at a pawn shop a couple weeks ago while investigating an internal theft case at my store.

Shortly afterward my wife came downstairs to join us.

After breakfast, I began processing my 2008 Federal and Indiana Tax Returns using TaxAct Online, just as I have for the past three years. Happily, we'll be receiving a nice refund that will more than cover a nice trip to see The Mouse in the fall.

In the middle of preparing to file the return (researching online sales tax due, interest earned, etc.), my wife interrupted me to tell me that her vacuum cleaner sucked. Or, rather, didn't suck, which is what sucked about it. You know what I mean. I stopped my work online to take apart the offending appliance and diagnose the problem. My diagnosis sent me to HH Gregg for a belt for the vacuum.

At HH Gregg, I experienced some of the worst customer service I could have hoped for. My son and I walked through every department in that store and not one person ever asked us if we needed any assistance. We didn't but it just felt odd not to be asked. I felt neglected. Sure, if they had offered I would have said, "No, thanks," but it would have been nice just to be asked. When we finally approached the checkout with our vacuum belt, we waited and waited while a salesperson slipped someone else in front of us, even, before we finally got to make our $3 purchase. I would have protested the wait and the rude cut in line, but I choose to protest silently, instead. I very, very rarely make a purchase from HH Gregg. I mean, it's been several years since I last made a purchase from them.

I'm home now, we've had lunch, and I've completed filing my tax returns online. My wife is now having school with my son while my daughter watches Caillou on PBS Sprout OnDemand. So far, the first day has (for the most part) been pretty relaxing.

We have plans for most every day of the rest of the vacation (starting with watching The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian on DVD with the kids). We'll be going to The Children's Museum of Indianapolis this week, paying a visit to the in-laws and going to our old church in Terre Haute tomorrow evening, and evening have mommy/son and daddy/daughter date day. It should prove to be a nice respite from the daily grind of work.

Stay tuned for updates.

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